Political Animals


Political Animals reveals that the first openly gay State Legislators in California were actually women. They authored groundbreaking laws guaranteeing equality for the LGBT community and helped set a precedent for marriage equality nationwide. These four women claimed power in a revolutionary way and their story inspires others to participate in political movements to create real lasting social change.

Filmmaker Bio(s)

Jonah Markowitz (codirector/producer) has been professionally making films for the past 13 years. He wrote and directed the critically acclaimed film Shelter, an independent feature released theatrically by Regent Entertainment in March 2008. Shelter won the HBO Award for Outstanding First Feature, The Scion Director's Award as well as audience awards in New York, Vancouver, Sao Paulo, Melbourne and more. The film was just named The Number 1 Gay Film of All Time by AfterElton.com on their bi-annual poll. Previously, Markowitz wrote and directed two short films, I Left Me and Hung Up, which screened at over 40 festivals worldwide and were both programmed at The American Cinematheque. Markowitz also has a background in production design and art direction. His credits include the Sundance Jury and Audience Award winning Quinceañera, We Are Marshall, Rocky Balboa, The Help, Alphadog, A Lot Like Love, The House of Sand and Fog, Blue Crush and Crazy/Beautiful. Previously, Markowitz worked in development at Colombia Pictures for producer Cathy Konrad and director Jim Mangold. Jonah graduated from the Film department at Emerson College and also studied art history in the Netherlands, as well as film theory and production at FAMU in The Czech Republic.

Tracy Wares (codirector) is an international filmmaker with 15 years of experience on 5 different continents. She first directed a documentary in 1998 called Royal Drag, about the history of San Francisco's drag ball system know as coronation. In India from 1999-2000, she filmed a documentary about women's roles and agency in Hinduism. From 2002-2004, Wares worked in Thailand to create a documentary about child soldiers and conduct video camera trainings for grassroots nonprofit organizations supporting the Burmese pro-democracy movement living in exile.  Wares also wrote reports on human rights abuses of women and ethnic minorities for the United Nations. Since moving to Los Angeles in 2004, Wares has worked as a cinematographer and producer for award-winning independent documentaries and television. Wares acted as cinematographer for the documentary Gay Republicans, which won the audience award at the AFI festival and screened at Framline.  Wares produced and shot Bomb It, a feature documentary about street art and graffiti worldwide that explores issues of public space and premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.  Wares also co-produced Smokin' Fish, a documentary about ethnic Alaskan identity, which premiered at IDFA and aired on PBS. Wares has produced award-winning television, and her work has aired on ABC, PBS, Discovery, A&E Bio, WeTv, and TLC. As a William Clinton Fellow from 2011-2012, Wares focused her media skills on social justice issues with the non-profit Video Volunteers in India to document citizen journalists who were change makers in their marginalized communities. She continues to travel the world, making documentaries and television productions.

Film Details
  • Country(ies): USA
  • Language(s): English
  • Year: 2014
  • Running time: 90 minutes
  • Director(s): Jonah Markowitz, Tracy Wares
  • Producer(s): Anne Clements, Jonah Markowitz, Marc Smolowitz
  • Website: http://www.politicalanimalsdoc.com

FilmHouse Alumni project

FSP 1462